Hijinks

Most of the hijinks below were undertaken by the Yes Men together with partner organizations. For some of them we did most of the work, but for some we just gave some advice. If you're inspired to try something like one of these on your own, check out our cookbook and get cracking!

Reveal date: Sep 12 2011 Tagged: Congo, Game, YL

Force children to mine precious metals, save suicidal workers from jumping to their deaths so they can labor another day, or find the cheapest way to dispose of mountains of e-waste—all while keeping productivity up so you can toss shiny trinkets to adoring consumers! All this and more from the first anti-iPhone iPhone app.

Reveal date: May 10 2011 Tagged: climate change, coal, Coal Cares

Asthma-related bullying! "The Bieber" inhaler! Exploding bat lungs! All that and more brought to you by Coal Cares™ (www.coalcares.com), a bizarre yet typical public-health initiative by America’s largest coal company to make coal-caused asthma cool with pop-culture kiddie inhalers. A collaboration between the Yes Lab and NGO Coal is Killing Kids, this project went viral and drew spectacular media attention and at least four threats of legal action.

Reveal date: Apr 30 2011 Tagged: fracking, New York, water, YL

Official-looking Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) stickers, with chilling assurance that the tap water is "most likely safe," appeared above public faucets throughout New York. The goal was to alert New Yorkers to the alarming prospect that their drinking water could soon be contaminated by hydraulic fracturing.

Reveal date: Apr 15 2011 Tagged: Canada, climate change, Tar Sands

The Alberta Tar Sands as a low budget filming location for Peter Jackson's Mordor scenes in The Hobbit? That was the buzz generated by a sophisticated social-media campaign unleashed by Canadian activists in partnership with the Yes Lab. The ruse put the spotlight on the environmental devastation caused by the Tar Sands at a time when Canada's government is rushing headlong towards disaster by massively expanding the site.

Reveal date: Apr 14 2011 Tagged: Chicago, climate change, coal

Students from Columbia College in Chicago came together with Greenpeace and The Yes Lab to create the illusion that a new Coal Plant was planned in Chicago — but that instead of going in a poor neighborhood like the two coal plants that already exist, this one would be built in a rich one.

Reveal date: Apr 13 2011

[UPDATE: FOUR YEARS LATER, THIS HAPPENS FOR REAL!! CLICK THROUGH FOR DETAILS.] With local, State and Federal governments slashing critical education, health and public safety services nationwide due to dramatic budget cutbacks, GE brought good things to life by offering to return the entirety of its $3.2 billion 2010 tax refund to the Treasury. Even more touching, GE committed to conducting a nationwide survey to gauge popular opinion on which of the recently-enacted budget cuts people would like to see reversed, now possible thanks to GE's generosity. This unprecedented—and completely fictitious—corporate move, was a joint project of US Uncut and the Yes Lab, and caused GE's stock to drop $3.5 billion after it was reported in USA Today.

Reveal date: Mar 16 2011 Tagged: Enbridge, Oil industry, oil spill

What to do about disastrous oil spills that inevitably result from pipelines that stretch for hundreds of miles? This hairy problem was answered by "My Hair Cares," a "campaign" by Enbridge—the Canadian oil and gas giant whose massive Northern Gateway pipeline would cut across huge swathes of pristine Canadian wilderness—to mop up spills with human hair.

Reveal date: Nov 18 2010 Tagged: Apple, iPhone

In the fall of 2010 a slick Apple website announced an exciting new ethical product launch: the iPhone4 CF. "CF" stands for conflict-free, which "Apple" promised its new phone would be—i.e. its minerals wouldn't be sourced from conflict-ridden regions like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where battles over mining rights have fueled countless atrocities and massacres. The project was developed by students from the New School in New York, Friends of the Congo, and the Yes Lab.

Reveal date: Oct 19 2010 Tagged: Detournement, Environment, Human rights, Oil industry

Truth in advertising? Chevron's "We Agree" faux-street-art "greenwashing" ad campaign was completely derailed when Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch and the Yes Lab created a satirical version of their own. When Chevron's real campaign-launch announcement was preempted with the launch of a much more honest version on Chevron's behalf, a comedy of errors ensued, with many media outlets reporting on Chevron's uncharacteristic self-reflection on its past misdeeds, especially the toxic mess the oil giant has left in Ecuador. A truer-to-life poster and TV ad campaign followed.

Reveal date: Jul 14 2010 Tagged: debt, France, Haiti, YL

An ad-hoc group called CRIME (Committee for the Reimbursement of Indemnity Money Extorted from Haiti) to announce, on France’s behalf, the repayment of €17 billion to Haiti in relief aid—a payment equal to France extorted from Haiti in 1804 as a condition for their independence. France's odd legalistic reaction meant oodles of press for the project.

Reveal date: Dec 14 2009 Tagged: Canada, climate change, Copenhagen, emissions, government hoax, UNFCCC

Blame Canada? During the U.N. sponsored climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, heavy CO2 emitter Canada surprised many, including its own negotiators, by acknowledging the historic climate debt that rich countries owe the developing world, which scientists predict will bear the most dramatic impacts of climate change.

Reveal date: Oct 19 2009

BREAKING 06/13/13 11:30am - Yes Men Win Legal Battle with US Chamber of Commerce: Despondent Activists Mourn Lawsuit Withdrawal

Reveal date: Sep 23 2009 Tagged: climate change, Environment, new york post, newspaper

New York's favorite tabloid got a face-lift of sorts one day before the city hosted a major UN summit on climate change. Distributed by over 2000 volunteers throughout New York City, an eco-conscious but otherwise pitch-perfect replica of the New York Post, created by a coalition of activists including the Yes Men, was handed out across the city as a wake-up call to action on climate change.

Reveal date: Nov 6 2008 Tagged: climate change, New York Times, war

A week after the historic presidential election that brought Barack Obama to the White House, the Yes Men were joined by hundreds of independent writers, artists, and activists in an elaborate project, six months in the making, to release a "special edition" of the New York Times in cities across the U.S.

Reveal date: May 17 2008 Tagged: climate change, Exxon, oil

Impostors posing as ExxonMobil and National Petroleum Council representatives delivered an outrageous keynote speech to 300 oilmen at Canada's largest oil conference.

Reveal date: May 17 2008

We set up a fake TV studio and convinced a powerful French politician he was on right-wing American talk show!

Reveal date: Jan 1 2008

Survivaballs armada assails the UN and the US Capitol...

Reveal date: Nov 6 2006 Tagged: Africa, Free Market, Slavery, Wharton

At a Wharton Business School conference on business in Africa, World Trade Organization representative Hanniford Schmidt announced the creation of a WTO initiative for "full private stewardry of labor" for the parts of Africa that have been hardest hit by the 500 years of Africa's free trade with the West.

Reveal date: Aug 8 2006 Tagged: Housing, HUD, New Orleans

The Yes Men get themselves invited to the Gulf Coast Reconstruction Conference as HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the wake of Katrina, HUD has collaborated with large private developers in tearing down public housing, despite a dire need for it. In the Yes Men's version, HUD behaves quite differently.

Reveal date: May 30 2006 Tagged: climate change, Global Warming, Halliburton, Survivaball

An advanced new technology will keep corporate managers safe even when climate change makes life as we know it impossible.

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